Onion Farm Sues Taco Bell For Besmirching The Good Name Of Their Onions

Taco Bell’s former green onion supplier is suing Taco Bell for libel after the taco giant incorrectly linked green onions to the e. coli scare that sickened more than 70 people last year.

From the LA TImes:

Boskovich Farms Inc., the Oxnard green onion grower linked and then cleared in Taco Bell’s E. coli outbreak in December, is firing back at the fast-food chain.

The grower contended in a lawsuit last week that the Irvine-based chain’s actions libeled the farming concern and destroyed much of its business.

Taco Bell continued to link its onions to the outbreak that sickened more than 70 restaurant patrons in the Northeast in December even after it knew the produce was not contaminated, the lawsuit said.

The false connection between the farm and Taco Bell’s E. coli problem has cost Boskovich “millions of dollars of business,” said attorney Thomas Girardi, but he declined to state a specific dollar amount. “We had a whole crop of green onions that we couldn’t even give away. It was just plowed under.”

He added, “Taco Bell engaged in an irresponsible and intentional crusade to save its own brand at the expense of an innocent supplier.”

Even though lettuce was the actual source of the e. coli contamination, Taco Bell removed green onions from its menu and stated that it has no plans to sell green onions again. Lettuce continues to be a part of approximately 70% of Taco Bell’s menu items. The farm has no plans to replant green onions because of falling sales. —MEGHANN MARCO

Farm claims libel in E. coli scare [LA Times]
(Photo: Morton Fox)


Edit Your Comment

  1. They have a valid point. Taco Bell dropped the legal chalupa on this one.

  2. AcilletaM says:

    Lettuce continues to be a part of approximately 70% of Taco Bell’s menu items.

    And of those items lettuce makes up 90% of what you get.

  3. Spider Jerusalem says:

    Mmm. Nachos. Please, this is just another attempt by Taco Bell to get rid of any semblance of health. I’m surprised the article doesn’t also say that Taco Bell is going to stop incorporating lettuce because it was the actual culprit, and tomatoes, just in case.

    Del Taco needs to expand now.

  4. a says:

    Is it wrong that that picture really makes me hungry for Taco Bell?

  5. AlteredBeast (blaming the OP one article at a time.) says:


    yeah…that does look pretty tasty…

  6. Hexum2600 says:

    @spiderjerusalem: WHAT?!? DEL TACO?

    That place needs to be shut down and the people running it taken out back and executed. That “resteraunt” exists for one reason and one reason only… to be the site of as many murders as possible and to spread the glory of food poisoning to each and every customer they have.

  7. KevinQ says:

    Damn, that does look tasty.


  8. CaptainRoin says:

    Oh Consumerist, why do you try to make me not love T-Bell anymore. Sometimes you just crave a grilled stuft, or some taquitos. I know it’s wrong but I can’t help it. E-coli be damned, I need my 4th meal.

  9. drrew says:

    I’ve eaten at Taco Hell several thousand more times then I’d like to admit, and I’ve never seen an order of nachos with even half that much cheese. I might have to print this picture hand it to the cashier and indicate that I want an order exactly like it.

  10. ptkdude says:

    What ticks me off about this is the STILL don’t have green onions at my local Taco Bell. My Mexican Pizza “Express” just isn’t the same without them. And yes, they still pile the lettuce on everything.

  11. royal72 says:

    have to pull out the conspiracy card on this one… i’m guessing some exec saw an opportunity to save .002 cents per item sold, by not having green onions anymore.

  12. Nottma says:

    Being a resident of Oxnard, all I have to say is: Go Boskovich Farms Inc!

    We already face farmland being turned to residential; mislabeling our food as e.coli ridden only will have fuel to the fire.

  13. Scuba Steve says:

    That’s what we like to call “Double cheese” and we’d be happy to make it for you, for about a buck more.

    Double meat would cost you a buck as well.

    So if you want the ultimate nachos, it’d be about 4-5 bucks.

  14. Spider Jerusalem says:

    @Scuba Steve: I didn’t even know you could order extras at Taco Bell…I don’t even think there is one in my city, but now I feel like seeking one out, damn your eyes.

  15. FLConsumer says:

    No nachos I ever got at Taco Bell looked like that pic. I was lucky if there were enough chips to cover the bottom of the container, let alone fill it.

    You know, I’ve not eaten at Taco Bell since the e.coli scare. Didn’t realize it until now. Overall…I don’t really miss it either. I’ve discovered local Mexican restaurants which offer superior food at reasonable prices.

  16. superlayne says:

    I love Taco Bell. I hope they get green onions back, honestly.

    I really like their oddly textured ground beef.

  17. bloodr says:


    I don’t think that “ground beef” is really beef at all, but textured vegetable protein. Seem to remember reading that somewhere.

    Notice, McDonald’s claims their meat is 100% beef, Taco Bell makes no such claim.

  18. FLConsumer says:

    I don’t doubt that it’s meat… may be rat/horse meat instead of beef, but it’s still meat.

  19. kalikidtx says:

    I hope they win too, I think they have some points to fight on at least, GOOD LUCK!

  20. ZonzoMaster says:


    I hope people realize some day that taco bell isn’t even near to mexican food. Nachos are not traditional mexican food people! And tacos taste waaay better, i suggest you to come try the real thing, you won’t regret it.